German Sausage Guide
Who makes the best sausages? Tell us now by voting for Britain's Best Banger! and you could win the ultimate sausage lover's day trip! Vote now!With the World Cup now in full swing we thought it time to focus on German sausages. The British may feel justifiably proud of our sausages and our sausage eating but nothing can hold a candle (or should that be a wurst) to the Germans.
The average German consumes 67 pounds (yes that 30 kilos) of sausage per year - half the annual meat consumption. There are claimed to be more than 1,500 different kinds of sausage. The Germans are sausage mad and unlike the Brits they make and eat both raw and cured sausages.
German sausages can be divided into 3 categories: Bruhwurst, (fresh sausage), Kochwurst (pre-cooked sausage) and Rohwurst (raw cured or keeping sausages such as salami).
Some of the key features of German sausages are the willingness to use veal and the different cooking methods. There is a massive difference between an artisan British sausage and mass producer version, this difference is not so big in Germany because even top sausages are made with a fine texture and have the regular appearance of a hot dog.
Sausages are often sold cooked and then heated up on the grill. German purity laws means that most sausages are made with 100% meat and no filler (however the meat may not meet the high standards of animal welfare for UK meat).
German sausage varieties
Blutwurst - blood sausage, eaten like black pudding.
Bockwurst/Frankfurter - smoked and poached in water. Often made from finely ground veal, pork of beef.
Bratwurst - a pale sausage made of finely minced veal and/or pork and onions, made into long links and usually grilled or fried. Thueringer Bratwurst is very popular.
Cervelat - similar to Italian salami, a cured, finely minced slicing sausage of pork and beef, spices and often mustard or garlic; Thueringer is a common variety.
Frankfurter - the genuine German variety (not the same as an American frankfurter) contains finely chopped lean pork with a bit of salted bacon fat, and is smoked; reheat in simmering liquid
Gehirnwurst - pigs brain, pork fat and lean pork stuffed into large sausages and then boiled. Cooled and fried in butter.
Hertzwurst - pigs heart.
Wienerwurst - claimed to be the origin of American frankfurter is made with beef and pork flavoured with coriander and garlic.
Weisswurst - "white sausage" so pale and delicately flavoured. Made with veal, pork, cream and eggs. A specialty of Munich and traditionally served at Oktoberfest with rye bread, sweet mustard and of course, beer.
A good time to sample a wurst or two is a trip to the Munich Oktoberfest - the world’s largest beer festival. This year it takes place between 16 September and 3 October.
Failing a trip to Germany you can buy German sausages at many British outlets, some of our favourites are:
Austrian Sausage Centre in North London, German Deli at Borough Market and 127 Central Street,London EC1V 8A, County Delicacies in Reading, Crombies of Edinburgh. and Grasmere Farm in Lincolnshire.
Good sources are often Polish or East European shops. Waitrose sells a good selection of cured sausages and Aldi/Lidl can be good sources of Bratwurst.
Dont forget the beer, mustard and rye bread!
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